Ahead of his second Hong Kong Tens tournament, dual code international Wendell Sailor has highlighted the important role the Classic Wallabies are playing in helping former players give back to the game.
Sailor, who played 37 Tests for the Wallabies and 55 games of Super Rugby for the Reds and Waratahs, also told RUPA how much he was enjoying re-connecting with former teammates.
“All the boys want to get back together and be on tour together again like we used to when we were playing professionally,” Sailor said.
“Transition is so hard so it’s good to catch up and spend quality time together, and it reminds us to be there to support each other. We are a family and we’ve all got a great amount of love for Rugby, we’re here for the opportunity to give something back to the game through the Classic Wallabies.”
That giving back included two coaching clinics on Tuesday in Hong Kong, with over 200 children working on their passing, tackling and Rugby knowledge under the tutelage of the entire playing squad.
Click here to see the Classic Wallabies squad for the Hong Kong Tens.
The Hong Kong Tens is a prestigious and high-quality tournament, and Sailor expected the Classic Wallabies to be better suited for their second appearance at the tournament after not knowing what to expect in 2017.
“My personal experience last year was that before I travelled over, I actually thought it was an old boys’ tournament and that it was only half serious,” Sailor said.
“When we rocked up and realised that a lot of the players here were professional players from around the world, it shocked us a little bit, so this year I have put a good six months into training and we now know the competition a bit more and have a really healthy respect for what it is.
“A lot of the boys have done a lot of hard work to be in good condition. Tyrone Smith looks really fit and Burgo (Luke Burgess) and Phibbsy (Pat Phibbs) look ready for lots of running. Young Hutcho (Henry Hutchison) too – the energy from the younger guys, who are half our age, makes me feel a bit younger. Matt Hodgson is looking really sharp, Hoilesy is in good nick – we’re ready to go.
“We are representing the Wallaby name and we have to make sure we respect the jersey and set high standards.”
The Hong Kong Tens kick off on Wednesday morning, with all games to be streamed live online here.